(All Album Reviews by Phil Jackson)
Starting off with the light country rock touch of “Angel Easy”, Welsh rockers Man are clearly settling in as their 1971 album provides a further advance on a wonderfully eclectic eponymous debut on Liberty Records.
There’s some scintillating guitar (Man featured the twin guitars of Michael Jones and Deke Leonard) and some battered upright piano chording. “All Good Clean Fun” shows the band’s sense of humour, quite 10CCish to start but the musical approach is complex time signatures and a tight arrangement that shows the band developing musically and sailing close to progressive rock waters.
“We’re Only Children” shows a tender reflective edge to the music with a Moody Blues vibe and a fluid instrumental workout with great work from bassist Martin Ace and drummer Terry Williams and some nice acoustic guitar in its 8:30 duration. The guitar is always emotive and expressive as on “Many Are Called But Few Get Up” (to become a live favourite) with some nice stereo panning and a touch of the Frank Zappas in the arrangement and Gentle Giant in the four part vocals. The Esoteric press release is right in describing their music as a fusion with many styles incorporated in a unique way.
There are three bonus tracks recorded live in Essen in November, 1971 including a generous 18 minute version of “Romain” off the Man album. There is the usual Esoteric lavish packaging with a 16 page booklet of unseen photos and liner notes by Deke Leonard. This label obviously takes a great pride in what it is doing and the re-mastering job is once again excellent.
A more defined Man sound is emerging, less disparate than the eponymous album of the same year and Do You Like It? proves that Man are indeed becoming ‘true champions of the underground spirit’.